A report by the Florida Division of Worker’s Compensation indicates that 11,758 workers filed for worker’s comp in the construction industry in 2018 alone. At Carson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, we assist many injured workers in New Port Richey, FL to receive benefits after a work accident. Unfortunately, many clients come to us after making one or more mistakes that often result in delays and headaches, making a difficult situation even harder. Here are some examples of mistakes you can avoid during your claim.
Do I Need to File a Claim Right Away Even if I Am Not Seriously Hurt?
This is one of the most common mistakes workers make – not reporting their injury or not filing a timely claim. For example, imagine you are a delivery driver whose van was rear-ended as you were on your way back from your route. The impact caused your head and neck to jolt forward, but you don’t feel pain or have visible injuries anywhere.
You decide it isn’t worth reporting anything, only to start feeling severe headaches three weeks later and being diagnosed with whiplash. Because no injury report was made and no claim was initiated, chances of filing a successful worker’s comp claim now are very slim, because you will have a hard time demonstrating a link between your work accident and your current symptoms. In short, always report any work injuries right away, regardless of their severity.
What Should I Not Say to My Worker’s Comp Adjuster?
You can also find yourself in a difficult situation by simply sharing too many details with a worker’s compensation adjuster. Only share information regarding your work accident, such as where and when it happened, what body parts were affected, and whether any witnesses were present, and avoid sharing much beyond that.
Even though your adjuster may seem friendly, what they are looking for is details they can use against you to reduce the monetary value of your claim or deny it altogether. Insurance companies are vested in protecting their interests, and giving out large sums in worker’s comp payments does not benefit their bottom line. If you can, avoid talking to them. If not, do not share details about your physical or emotional state or any past injuries.
Why Is It Bad to Post on Social Media While My Claim Is Pending?
Another common mistake is assuming that your adjuster is not looking through your social media posts. Continuing their effort to protect their bottom line, an adjuster can use any photos or videos you share on social media as evidence against your claim. Suppose you are a roofing company employee who filed a claim saying you are unable to work because you broke your left leg while going down a ladder at the job site. A week after your claim is filed, you post a picture of yourself skiing in Colorado in 2010.
If a worker’s comp adjuster sees that, they may take it out of context and use it as evidence that you exaggerated or lied about your injury (even if it is an old photo). Do not post on social media about your accident or about engaging in activities that are not compatible with your injury.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Handle My Worker’s Comp Claim?
A worker’s compensation attorney knows every trick insurance adjusters may have up their sleeves and can help guide you to avoid costly mistakes as the ones discussed above. They may also help you along the way by talking to adjusters, examining documents before you sign them, and representing you to make sure you receive every penny you deserve. If you need a strong worker’s comp legal team on your side, contact the Carson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett New Port Richey office and request a free consultation.